Britain’s bookmakers have agreed to pay additional fees on streaming and data deals to help provide the horse racing industry with extra revenue during England’s second lockdown.
Sports betting licensees in Britain have agreed to pay additional fees on streaming and data deals until 2 December in order to provide the horse racing industry with extra revenue during England’s second coronavirus lockdown.
An agreement has so far been reached with Racecourse Media Group, which is owned by 34 British racecourse shareholders and provides streaming and data to bookmakers from 35 British and all 26 Irish racecourses
Bookmakers to pay fees to horse racing industry
The extra payments from bookmakers will help racecourses fill the gap in funding that came from the closure of betting shops in England and Ireland due to the latest coronavirus measures.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) noted that more than half of racecourses’ revenue comes from spectators. With the exception of two pilot events at Doncaster and Warwick, there have been no crowds allowed at courses across the UK since March.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “There has always been a close relationship between betting and racing. So, with the Government’s ongoing Covid restrictions affecting the sport so severely, it’s welcome that bookmakers are stepping up to further support the sport.
“This extra funding for streaming and data rights will undoubtedly help racing’s finances for the next month and I’m delighted to see BGC members assisting the sport in this way.
“We will continue to make the case to the Government that betting shops should be allowed to re-open, in line with the rest of non-essential retail, once the national lockdown ends, and that socially-distanced crowds return to race meetings as soon as possible.”
Nick Mills, commercial director at Racecourse Media Group said: “We are very grateful to all our streaming and data partners who have agreed to pay an increased fee for the RMG Watch & Bet service for one month.
“This will help compensate our racecourses for some of the revenues lost from our LBO (Licensed Betting Office) business, while shops are closed. This shows what can be achieved by racing and betting working effectively together, which is especially important in these times.”
Horserace Betting Levy Board to contribute £31.9m
The announcement that operators would contribute additional funds to the horse racing industry comes after the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) agreed to contribute £31.9m in funding towards the first four months of racing in Britain next year.
The HBLB says the contribution will allow it to continue to provide financial support to the industry as it has done since horse racing resumed in June.
In terms of funding, £24.4m will be for prize money for prize purses between January and April 2021. Raceday Services Grants will also be made available to racetracks, with £12,571 available per fixture at a total cost of £5.5m